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Press Releases - County Council

Council Committee Meetings for Oct. 14

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 11, 2019

The following committee meetings are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 14. Individuals interested in attending a committee meeting should confirm the information on the day of the meeting by visiting the Council’s web page at tinyurl.com/CountyCouncilMeetings or by calling the Council’s Communications Office at 240-777-7832.

Meeting: Public Safety (PS) Committee
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: Seventh floor hearing room
PS Committee: Council Vice President Sidney Katz (Chair), Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Tom Hucker
Topics:
Executive Regulation (ER) 19-19, Maximum Rates for Motor Vehicle Towing from Private Property; ER 20-19, Repeal of ER 29-96, Maximum Rates for Motor Vehicle Immobilization on Private Property; and ER 21-19, Motor Vehicle Towing from Private Property
The PS Committee will review the above executive regulations. ER 19-19 governs both trespass towing and the immobilization of vehicles (without the owner's consent) on private property. The regulation requires that the County Executive must review rates every two years. Towing rates were last raised in 2011. ER 20-19 repeals Regulation 29-96, which sets a maximum rate that a person may charge to release an immobilized (booted) vehicle on private property. In 2015, the Council passed Bill No. 17-15 which, in part, prohibited vehicle immobilization. This change repeals the $50 maximum rate to release an immobilized vehicle. ER 21-19 comports with current County law, that requires trespass towing businesses to accept payment by the two most widely-used credit cards. The regulation reaffirms that MasterCard and Visa continue to be the two most widely-used credit cards.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

ER 1-19, Policies, Procedures and Fees for Alarm Businesses and Alarm Users
The PS Committee will review ER 1-19. According to the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), the department responds to over 45,000 false alarms each year. Responding to false alarms reduces the police department's effectiveness to respond to other types of calls. To help reduce the number of false alarms, MCPD has a False Alarm Reduction Section (FARS). Among its duties are licensing alarm companies, registering alarm users and sending notifications of false alarms and bills for excessive false alarms to alarm users. The purpose of this regulation is to update the Alarm System Installation Standards section to ensure all alarm systems in the County meet the highest installation standard required by the industry.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Crime Statistics
The PS Committee also will receive a briefing on crime statistics for the County compared to similar jurisdictions. Acting Assistant Police Chief Dinesh Patil and other Montgomery County Police Department staff are expected to brief the Committee. Total crime in the County is down 7.3 percent over the past three years. Total homicides have decreased from 30 in 2015 to 20 in 2018, which is a 33.3 percent decline. An overview of County crime statistics is provided on circle page two of the Council staff report, which can be viewed here.

Meeting: Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: Third floor conference room
PHED Committee: Councilmembers Hans Riemer (Chair), Andrew Friedson (Lead for Parks) and Will Jawando
Topics:
Bill 18-19, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Relocation Expenses
The PHED Committee will review Bill 18-19, which would require a landlord to make a tenant relocation payment if the tenant’s housing is condemned as unfit for human habitation and require a landlord to provide a tenant with a right of first refusal to re-occupy rental housing. The lead sponsor is Councilmember Will Jawando. The goal of this bill is to help improve the health and safety of tenants and to provide financial assistance when a tenant is displaced because of unfit living conditions not caused by the tenant. Aseem Nigam, director of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), and other DHCA representatives are expected to attend the meeting.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Missing Middle Housing Study
The PHED Committee will continue its review of the Montgomery County Planning Board’s 2018 Missing Middle Housing Study. The term “missing middle” signifies multi-unit, clustered housing, such as townhouses, courtyard dwellings and smaller apartment buildings, that can bridge low- and high-density areas. Missing middle housing has been recognized as a potential solution to providing residential options along a spectrum of affordability for an increasingly diverse population, including downsizing seniors, young families and newcomers to the region. Developing these projects, however, is challenging due to market and economic challenges, unfavorable neighborhood perceptions and regulatory requirements. The 2018 study provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges and identifies potential ways that Montgomery County can address them through policy changes or incentives. Casey Anderson, chair of the Planning Board, and Gwen Wright, director of the Planning Department, are among those expected to attend the meeting. The study can be viewed here.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Meeting: Transportation and Environment (T&E) and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committees
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Seventh floor hearing room
T&E Committee: Councilmembers Tom Hucker (Chair), Evan Glass and Hans Riemer
GO Committee: Council President Nancy Navarro (Chair), Councilmember Andrew Friedson and Council Vice President Sidney Katz
Topic:
Property Tax Credit for Energy and Environment
The T&E and GO Committees will meet jointly to receive a briefing from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff on the Stakeholder Work Group’s Recommendations on Montgomery County High-Performance Building Report, as well as the County Executive’s comments. Several Stakeholder Work Group members also will be present to discuss the group’s recommendations. In March 2018, the joint T&E and GO Committee under the prior Council requested that the County Executive convene a stakeholder work group to discuss whether the current property tax credit for energy and environmental design is still needed and, if so, what changes to the credit should be made. Those expected to attend the meeting include the following: Adriana Hochberg, assistant chief administrative officer (and director of County Climate Policy); Stan Edwards, chief, Environmental Policy and Compliance, DEP; Lindsey Robinett Shaw, energy and sustainability programs manager, DEP; Mark Nauman, senior specialist, Energy and Green Building, Department of Permitting Services; Jonathan Bauer, LEED AP® O+M, Fitwel ambassador, Sustainability Manager, The Tower Companies; Mike Babcock, CEM, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Sustainable Building Partners; Chet Knaup, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, general manager, Spectrum Energy, LLC.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Meeting: T&E Committee
Time: 3 p.m. (or immediately following the 2 p.m. joint meeting)
Location: Seventh floor hearing room
Topic:
Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Spending Control Limits
The T&E Committee will review the FY21 WSSC Spending Control Limits. WSSC’s spending control limits process was established in April 1994 via resolution by both Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils, with the goal of both Councils agreeing on certain budgetary limits by November 1 of each year. WSSC is bi-county governmental agency charged with the responsibility of providing water and sanitary sewer service within the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, which includes most of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. Fausto Bayonet, commissioner, WSSC; Howard Denis, commissioner, WSSC; and Carla Reid, general manager, WSSC, are among those expected to attend the meeting.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

The Council committee meetings will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon.

The meetings also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

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Release ID: 19-325
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931